Channel 5 kicked off the new series of Big Brother the 15th to be shown on British television in the first week of June. As seems to be the way with Channel 5 they deemed it necessary to have a theme which ran through the entire show. This time it was titled the Power Trip. The theme dominated the first few weeks of the show and in particular the first week which in hindsight set up the whole series in a negative light. It created an atmosphere of paranoia amongst the housemates which pervaded the whole summer and made for difficult viewing at times.
The poor start was in the main decided by us the voting public. We chose badly when voting for the first housemate – Pauline – to receive the Power. Her poor choices in turn when electing to nominate a housemate up for eviction EVERY week of their stay in the house and a second housemate to be given immunity EVERY week until the end defined the series. This radical idea and departure from the whole ethos of Big Brother could have worked well had the correct choices been made. I guess the thinking behind it was that the choices would be that a likeable person would be exempt from eviction and a nasty person up every week. This would not have been too much of a problem since likeable people very rarely pick up early nominations and those more aggressive ones will be up every week anyway. However, what could not be factored in was Pauline’s poor initial choices. Helen would I have no doubt been one of the first evicted had the housemates been able to nominate in the normal way and Jale would have lasted longer had she not been under a constant strain of eviction. Ultimately the choice of Pauline as the first Power Housemate was made by the public. How wrong were we? On entering the house she had seemed so much fun and we were fooled. The fact she turned out to be so nasty and negative set the series up poorly.
Thinking back now the problem with the whole series was that there were too many huge egos and divisive aggressive characters in the house and not enough likeable people. All shows need a “baddie” for us to jeer at but this time there were just too many people like that. The main reason someone as nasty as Helen was able to pick up so many viewers votes at the end to win the show was that people were left with the stark choice do I vote for a housemate I like or a housemate who has entertained me the most albeit for negative reasons? They chose to go for the latter since a really genuinely likeable person failed to materialise.
Main talking points of the series
So what will this series be remembered for in the long run? Unfortunately it will be for negative reasons. Whilst we have all thought we witnessed under the cover shenanigans in past series – who can forget Stuart and Michelle’s toe curling coupling from BB5 – it has always been implied never confirmed. This series Steven and Kimberley unashamedly just got on with things and let the world view as they wiled away two seconds of their lives. Something I feel they will live to regret in years to come. We will also remember Danielle’s facade of innocence and acting skills when feigning horror at all things sexual when the reality was she worked in the sex trade. Nothing to be ashamed of in itself but don’t tell us you’re an innocent poor wee virginal lass from deepest Scotland, when all of us outside the house know what you do for a living. We will also recall a latecomer to the house in Biancca who struck the house like a whirlwind. How did the producers miss such a big trick and not think she was worthy of a place from the start? Madness on behalf of Channel 5 after she proved to be very memorable not just for the flashing but also for the life and sense of excitement she brought to a dull and tired house. For me the main memory of this show will be that a winner can be so aggressive and nasty to fellow housemates and yet still be deemed worthy of winning the show – I’m not sure what lesson this teaches youngsters about life but it can’t be a good one.
Production of the show
The tasks this series were inventive and well thought out. Yes some things have been rehashed from previous series but if it’s funny and it works why not repeat? However, my overall impression of the whole show is that perhaps they are trying too hard to win ratings when if you learn from the past it may be that just putting a better mix of housemates in the house and letting them get on with it can be compulsive viewing. If it’s not working then additional characters can be added to spice things up. But generally speaking leave those in the house to create their own tensions and entertainment – it’s been proven time and time again that it will happen anyway, you don’t need to engineer things to occur.
Channel 5 have done so many things right during their tenure of the show. Each series the house looks great, the tasks good and the presentation by Emma and Rylan on the two shows spot on but they have failed to provide a good mix of housemates all too often.
Overall this series will not be remembered as a corker but for negative reasons. Open unashamed sex on the show and a winner no one in the real world would want to live with. Most of this crop of housemates will fade into obscurity – if the makers are sensible they will invite Biannca back for next summers series from the start rather than the all too short four days she did enjoy in the house. They should make it a summer of fun and enjoyment. Pick people not for negative traits – like Pauline, Toya, Helen, Marlon, Matthew and Mark but a house full of positive, up for a laugh characters to entertain us with wit, humour and a sense of having the best time of their lives. If we as viewers can sit, smile and laugh whilst watching the programme we will soon spread the word and it will make for a watchable and fun Big Brother. And for gawd’s sake bring back the LIVE FEED asap.
Hope you enjoyed your BB summer – roll on January.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Big Blagger and its owners.